April 27, 2015

Despite never reform anything, just spend more critics, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is moving ahead on saving millions through introducing managed care to Medicaid .

Iowa media reports “Amy Lorentzen McCoy, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said the new system would save the state money by avoiding duplication of services and by offering better preventative care. The state estimates savings of about $50 million in the first six months of managed care, starting Jan. 1. McCoy said patients will still receive the care they need.

“We are not changing the types of services available through Medicaid. We are not changing the eligibility criteria. What we are changing is how the program is administered,” McCoy said.” (Muscatine Journal)

According to the Kaiser Foundation, 39 states use managed care . And even Kaiser admits it can work. “I would say it’s a trend. I would definitely say it’s a trend,” said Julia Paradise, associate director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. She said states make the change for a variety of reasons, including cost savings, budget predictability or quality of care. She said the results have varied by state.

“There’s evidence that managed care can deliver important improvements and there’s evidence that here can be real gaps in access. The actual implementation really matters,” Paradise said.”

All the states bordering North Carolina use Medicaid managed care and all have sharply lower Medicaid costs than we do except for Virginia which is slightly higher. Big states like California and Florida use managed care and benefit from lower Medicaid costs compared to North Carolina. (USDHHS-CMMS)

Link to Previous CPRNC Blog post: MEDICAID HAS ROOM TO CUT

If Legislators are serious about raising teacher salaries, we will need to restrain Medicaid spending growth by joining the overwhelming majority of states saving money with managed care. Iowa is.